I'm glad I'm not in the elder's quorum presidency. One, because our life would make doing that about impossible. But two, I'm not the world's best motivator on some things when I get kinda amped up.
I remember on my mission when I was a District Leader in East Louisiana, I had a set of Elders who just weren't baptizing.
I asked them why they weren't baptizing.
They said "If we knew, we'd be doing it."
I about wanted to punch him through the phone for that response with my younger, less tempered, oh-so-recently-military-self. I told them "I want you to James one-five this and get back to me."
Turns out they lived in a super rural area where it was a mile between houses and they were walking while knocking doors and could only do ten houses a day or something.
Not like they didn't have bikes or anything. And then they wonder why they aren't baptizing.
Stuff like that really steams my clams.
But anyways, it really comes down to desire.
So my mission president before I went home, a Patriarch, Sealer, Business-man, Temple President - all around spiritual guy, asks us a question:
Of the fourteen (fourteen?) missions in the south, where do we rank?
I thought number one.
No.....we weren't number one. Two? Nope. Three. Nope. We were like twelve out of fourteen.
He then says, "I am not going to preside over the number twelve mission. You guys have one year to push us up to number one."
He then related the story as a bishop how he told his ward they had one year to get home teaching up to 90% or he was going to resign as a failed leader. They met the goal.
And now....our ward is struggling with home teaching. We're in like single digits in percentages.
The elders' quorum presidency - one of whom I helped reactivate and are now sealed thanks to my home - teaching - is beside themselves wondering what to do.
I suggested cancel elders' quorum and send us out one day to find our families. Our last bishop did it and I really liked it. If it is that important, send us out right then! That way we can all do it together!
But at any rate, it's getting to be a real issue for them. So now, the bishop is interviewing us all. I think I accidentally joined two conversations together but I heard mention of another bishop in this story taking temple recommends from those who didn't do it. In another instance, Brigham Young took their priesthood.
Well, I really like my mission president's tack on this: If I can't get you to do it, I'm a failure, not you and I resign.
Mission presidents have such a way of doing things....of making it hard to say no. They look you in the eyes and smile and say "Elder.....thank you for your service, would you put a part in your hair and shine your shoes? I know you will, thank you Elder." And you can't not.
What's my point? Well, the Lord gives us small and simple things to test us and this is one of them I think. But my point is - I really like how the mission president handled these things and I think there's a lot to learn there - lead with love. That's just my thoughts.
I hope our ward leadership figures some things out. I think I'm going to go ask if they got any unvisited's I can go look up in addition to my families and will keep them in my prayers.....but for now, this is just my thoughts.